How to use black and white pepper? What’s the difference between Sichuan pepper, vine pepper and hemp pepper? With the right 11 kinds of “peppers”, you can also become a master chef in seconds!

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Pepperfreshly ground and used for the best flavor; white pepper added when out of the pan to better maintain the spicy aroma.

Zanthoxylum is the main feature of hemp and fragrant. The daily term refers to red pepper, more fragrant; green pepper, rattan pepper, hemp pepper >, hemp tastes better.

The cooking effect of chili is spicy, fragrant, and color-enhancing, and the effect of different chili peppers varies greatly.

When I wrote about black and white pepper last time, many readers and friends left messages asking me to write about the difference between pepper and Chinese pepper, and what is the relationship between hemp, rattan and Chinese pepper, both in the kitchen How to use…

Today I will tell you about the “Pepper” condiments in the kitchen~



【Friends who have seen black and white pepper can skip it and start directly from the second part. ]

Pepper is a perennial evergreen vine of the Piperaceae family (Piperaceae). It is produced in many tropical regions in the world, such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Hainan in my country[1,2].

Green, black, red, white, four-color pepper

Pepper fruits are divided into four categories: green, black, red and white according to whether they are ripe at harvest and different processing methods.

Green pepper is an immature pepper with an elegant aroma and a slightly cool taste.

Green pepper | Image from: China Herbarium

After green pepper is picked naturally dry in the shade, the epidermis will turn into a hard, shrunken dark brown due to dehydration, which is familiar to us. Black pepper too. Since the rind is the hottest, the spicy flavor of the black pepper will be stronger.

When the pepper is fully ripe, the fruit turns a maroon-red color, or red pepper. Red pepper spicy and aromatic.

A gradually ripening pepper. | Image from: China Herbarium

soak fully ripe reddish-brown peppercorns in water to allow peel off the skins to reveal the white flesh , and then drying is a milder white pepper[1].

What kind of dishes are suitable?

Pepper is a worldwide spice. Whether it is Western or Chinese food, the mostthe most commonly used are black and white peppers.

As for which type of dishes they are more suitable for, it depends not only on the color matching of the ingredients, but also the the taste of the ingredients and dishes strong>Can it be well integrated.


Black pepper has a strong and tantalizing spiciness that evokes an aftertaste and is best suited to a variety of red meat dishes, where Taste is also heavy. The classic dish “Black Pepper Steak” is probably the most familiar western food.

The relatively mild white pepper is more suitable for light-colored ingredients such as veal, chicken and other white meats and fish , seafood light dishes.

No matter what kind of dish it is used in, Western food is usually freshly ground and ready to use, because freshly ground the best flavor, as long as a Just a little bit will add a spicy and savory flavor to appetizers, salad greens, and main dishes.

When I go to eat western food, sometimes the waiter will ask if I want to add pepper after the dish is on the table. If so, they will directly take a huge pepper grinder and grind it on the dish. spread.


Pepper was introduced to China during the Han and Wei Dynasties. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it became a common seasoning throughout China due to a large number of inputs and cultivation, and it was integrated into various cuisines. For example, Sichuan cuisine, which is known for its taste, is often used to describe its special seasoning as “three peppers and three fragrances, seven flavors and eight flavors”, and pepper is one of the three peppers (the other two are Chinese prickly ash and pepper) [2].

Now there are more dishes that use pepper in Chinese food, such as Hong Kong-style new Cantonese cuisine, which has improved the “Black Pepper Sauce” of Western food, and interprets many Chinese dishes. The new series of black pepper dishes made by Caixi include “Chinese beef fillet with black pepper” and “pheasant slices with black pepper”.

The northern cuisine, Shandong cuisine, is good at using white pepper powder and rice vinegar to cook “hot and sour” or “vinegar pepper” dishes. For example, the classic clear soup dishes “Sour and Spicy Mullet Egg Soup” and the “Vinegar Pepper Fish” in milk soup. When cooking such dishes, white pepper is best added just before serving to maintain the spicy aroma.


Zanthoxylum, hemp and vine peppers

Zanthoxylum bungeanum is the general name of the fruit of the deciduous small tree of the genus Zanthoxylum bungeanum in the family Rutaceae. my country is rich in prickly ash resources, which are distributed from the southeast of the northeast to the northwest of the southwest, from the southeast coastal zone to the southeast of Tibet[3,4].

Zanthoxylum bungeanum is one of the traditional “eight condiments” in my country. Its aroma constituent volatile oil mainly exists in the peel of Zanthoxylum bungeanum, which is dried and used as Spices, and the black Zanthoxylum chinensis seeds contain oils that can be used to extract Zanthoxylum bungeanum oil[5].

Red, green, rattan and hemp are all of the genus Zanthoxylum

The Zanthoxylum bungeanum often refers to red Zanthoxylum bungeanum, which belongs to the Zanthoxylum genus like green Zanthoxylum bungeanum, rattan pepper, and hemp pepper. As a spice, it has a wide range of uses[6 ].

Red pepper

Red pepper(Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim .)Scientific name Zanthoxylum >, also known as fenugreek, Dajiao, Qinjiao, Shujiao, Chuanjiao or Sanjiao, etc. The fruit is red when ripe. Dahongpao is commonly referred to as red pepper, and it is also the most famous and widely used variety in the pepper family [8].

The image is from the Chinese Plant Image Library. | Photographer: Yu Xunlin

Green pepper

Green pepper (Zanthoxylum Zuc c.) is named after the green color of the fruit when it matures, also known as pepper seed , Cliff pepper, dog pepper, widely planted in my country, Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Yunnan and other places are planted. Not as oily as red pepper[7].

Image from China Plant Image Library | Photographer: Nie Tingqiu

Vine pepper

The scientific name of rattan pepper is Zanthoxylum armatum DC., named because the leaves are long and narrow, like bamboo leaves, and because the branches and leaves are scattered and elongated For example, vines are called vine peppers [7], and wild peppers and sansho are also other names for it.

It is a type of green prickly ash, mainly produced in the Jinsha River Basin and the upper Dadu River, and is usually harvested when immature >. The vine pepper has a fragrant and lingering numbness, and is rich in fruit oil and glossy[6,8].

The image is from the Chinese Plant Image Library. | Photographer: Liu Zhaolong


Hemp pepper, green pepper, rattan pepper, and red pepper belong to different species. There is no clear Latin name. It is a special type of pepper in Sichuan and Gui provinces. It is dark green when ripe, its taste is heavier and heavier than Zanthoxylum bungeanum, its smell is fragrant and its taste is spicy, so it is called hemp pepper[6].

The picture and text may not match. Because there is no Latin name, there is no clear corresponding photo in the professional plant gallery.

What kind of dishes are suitable?

Zanthoxylum bungeanum fruit not only has a strong and spicy aroma, but also relieves taint and smells. > the preferred seasoning [7].

Red pepper

High oil content, mellow and long-lasting aroma, more suitable for making hot pot base or stir-frying strong>, and to deodorize meat, it can also be made into Pepper Powder.

Green pepper and vine pepper

Smells soft, but heavy, generally suitable for cooked dishes, salads or prepared into Pepper Oil.

Especially the vine pepper, which is more fragrant than the red pepper, the hemp flavor of the fresh green pepper is thicker and longer, and the use of fresh vine pepper and vine pepper oil is not uncommon. However, Vine pepper oil is not resistant to high temperature, pay attention when using it, either add it when the raw materials are marinating, or add it before it comes out of the pot, of course, it is also more suitable for cold salad[8] .


It can remove the fishy smell of food, increase appetite, appetize and digest, and is also a commonly used condiment in Sichuan cuisine. Those who pursue spicy taste can choose it when cooking.

In addition, as the most representative seasoning in Sichuan cuisine, Sichuan pepper is widely used. , also use pepper oil, rattan pepper oil, and also use Sichuan pepper with salt and green onion.

Image from reference [9]


Chili, chopped and pickled peppers

Spiciness is not separate, like Sichuan cuisine spicy flavor composition, mainly due to the creative use of pepper and chili in seasoning [9]. After talking about the “numbness” of pepper, let’s talk about the “hotness” of pepper.

Capsicum is the fruit of Capsicum frutescensL. of the Solanaceae plant, also known as bell pepper, sea pepper, chili, hot horn, Qin pepper, etc. It is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South America. In the later period (the end of the 16th century), it was introduced into my country [10].

Now, pepper has become a important fruit and vegetable vegetable and condiment in China, with the largest planting area in the world[11]. my country is also the largest country in the production and consumption of peppers (including sweet peppers) [12].

Pepper nutrition and common varieties

Chilihigh nutritional value, containing carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, pigments, calcium, phosphorus, iron and other minerals needed by the human body and the human body needs of 15 amino acids. The vitamin C content of pepper ranks first among vegetables, which is 7-15 times that of tomato [10].

Chili peppers and their products play the role of coloring, removing fishy smell, removing greasy, and enhancing flavor in cooking. The content of capsaicin and other spicy substances in different varieties of peppers varies greatly, and the color, aroma and taste of pepper products and cooked products made from different varieties of peppers are also different[13,14] .

The chart below shows the spiciness, aroma, color-enhancing effect and suitable cooking methods of common chili varieties on the market for your reference.

Image from reference [14]

Chopped peppers and pickled peppers are all pepper products

Chopped and pickled peppers are chili products made from chili peppers, they are the primary element of hot and sour dishes and are widely used in cold dishes , pickled pepper flavored hot dishes.

Chopped pepper in fish head with chopped pepper

Laoganma is chili sauce, and chopped pepper is also a common chili sauce. The most familiar Hunan dish – fish head with chopped peppers, uses chopped peppers.

Chop the common fresh red peppers and add salt and other seasonings, and after a period of fermentation, the chopped pepper sauce is obtained . The peppers for making chopped peppers are usually bell peppers, Chaotian peppers, and millet peppers [13].

Pickled pepper in chicken feet

Pickled peppers are made more like kimchi, made from pickled fresh peppers. Wild bell pepper (full of spicy, sour and refreshing), Erjingtiao (satisfied with spicy taste, full of aroma), millet spicy (full of spicy taste, sour and refreshing), bell pepper (weak spicy taste, sweet taste), etc. Pepper commonly used pepper [13-15].

Spiciness direction: fragrant, hemp, paste, fresh, sweet, sour

The mainstream spicy flavors in the catering industry are mainly fragrant, hemp, paste, fresh, sweet, and sour five kinds[15]. If you want something spicy, make it yourself~


Mainly with You Poli Zi, often combined with peanuts, white sesame seeds, etc.


Oil chiliand Sichuan peppercorns complement each other, creating a spicy and spicy taste.


The chili is deep-fried, and the charred aroma of the oil and chili is mixed with some mushy flavor.


Mainly strong vine pepper or fresh pepper, which is very popular among consumers.

Sweet and spicy

Use dried red chili peppers with star anise, cinnamon, bay leaves, etc. marinated, sweet and spicy intertwined.

Sour and spicy

The main element is a strong pickled or chopped pepper, which blends sour and spicy on the palate.

For the usage of so many “pepper” condiments, please pass it to your chef~


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